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Researching the Blues (Bonus Track Version)

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iTunes Review

Fifteen years after its last studio album, L.A.'s Redd Kross returns with music as catchy and infectious as its early work back in the '80s, when bassist Steve McDonald was just 11 years old and guitarist brother Jeff was all of 15. The punkish aggression is still here, but it's with a twist of finesse, with stronger songwriting and smartly arranged harmonies and instrumentation. Don't let the "Blues" in the title give you the wrong impression; these aren't Canned Heat outtakes or anything. Redd Kross still makes punk-pop with remnants of The Beatles, The Raspberries, and Ramones (who influenced Redd Kross) and Dinosaur Jr. and countless alternative bands (whom Redd Kross influenced) ringing through their gorgeous attack. "Uglier" crunches long and hard, with a fuzzed-out wah solo cranking things over the edge. "Dracula's Daughter" rebuilds the sound of Phil Spector girl-group pop via The Beach Boys, with a distortion pedal. The group's production has never been stronger or more powerful. "Meet Frankenstein" makes quick work at less than two minutes, offering an earnest pop melody with shades of Matthew Sweet. It's like Redd Kross has never been gone.

Customer Reviews

Really, really good!!

The best album that Sloan NEVER made!!!

Best album of 2012

Infectious, urgent and beautiful. If you already love Redd Kross this is a no brainer. If you new to them, this is a great place to start. I cannot stop listening to this album.

A heaping slab of power pop goodness...

...all wrapped up into one 32 minute album. Redd Kross' triumphant return finds them in usual form and taking it up a few notches - wonderfully crafted songs, infectious melodies, driving guitar-soaked arrangements. This may very well be the musical statement of their career (so far). Kross fans will have no problem warming up to this one. All others, do yourselves a big favor and give this one a try. As the brothers MacDonald say, "HIT IT!".


Formed: 1980 in Hawthorne, CA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Inspired as much by breakfast cereal and kiddie TV as by rock music, punk-pop cult band Redd Kross were the brainchild of Steve and Jeff McDonald, brothers from the Los Angeles suburb of Hawthorne (also home of the Beach Boys) who began playing music together before either had hit puberty. Fueled by a series of dubious visits to famed area rock clubs like the Roxy and the Whisky a Go Go, they formed their first band, the Tourists, in 1978; Jeff, then 15, handled vocal duties while Steve, 11, took...
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